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I am seeing this terrible situation more and more, and if this blog can help one person correct this situation for their loved one’s, then I feel I have provided a great service. There is one thing about law practice – you do see some horrible situations that easily could have been avoided.

Here is a scenario.

Joe, 40, is divorced from Betty, who treated him terribly and had numerous affairs. Joe has no kids. He has no siblings, and just has a few distant relatives who he hates, but who hate him more. Joe has a home worth a million dollars.

Joe, never thinking he would marry again after he divorced his first horrible wife, meets Mary, 30, and after a very quick romance, they marry. They began their marriage life in Joe’s house, which he owns separately as he had purchased it before marriage.

They live as husband and wife for 10 years, the whole time remaining in Joe’s home. It is a wonderful marriage. All Joe wants to do is care for Mary. No children are born, and Joe still hates his distant relatives.

But then tragedy strikes. Joe dies.  Joe does not have a will. For estate planning purposes, Mary will become the owner of the home and will be able to continue to live there, right ?

Nope. Because Joe died without a will, his estate falls in accordance with Louisiana Law, and not to what his desires would be as laid out in a will. Because his home is his separate property, and because he has no children, the home would go to his distant cousins, who he hates, who immediately can take possession and throw Mary out of the home. Mary would have no interest in the home at all.

This is an all to seen situation and one that can be easily rectified during life. All that needs to be done is to write a will. All Joe had to do was write a will and leave his estate to Mary, including the home. 

If you are someone you know may be in this situation, please tell them to contact an attorney today and get a will drawn up.  It really can make life so much easier for the surviving spouse.

Chip LoCoco

Many & LoCoco